Isn’t it funny when you see the life parallels you have with people you meet? My girlfriend Wendy’s and my lives somehow both involved learning how to make balloon animals. We never even knew each other in Clown College! Since we discovered this shared talent, there have been a few occasions where we have been called upon to volunteer our time twisting balloons for shorties at a fundraiser. Let me be clear. We are not the balloon artists you see that actually get paid to make phenomenal creations such as a likeness of our president, or Disney characters or even the adult balloon art which you can google all by yourself because I am on enough government watch lists as it is. We. make. dogs. Wendy and I can make the dog’s ears small and its neck long and boom! It’s a giraffe! Make the ears small and the tail long and boom! It’s a cat! Long ears and short tail? That’s right, bunny! You get the idea. Wendy also started us making hats that look like… Well… they look like a balloon hat and that’s it. It is a simple operation. If you would like to see the polar opposite of what we do, check out this place!
This past weekend we had the honor of making balloon animals at the annual Our Town Elementary School Winter Carnival and many of the kids were clearly expecting a different caliber of twister.
Little Boy Blue: I want a red robot.
Wendy: A red robot?
Me: He looks like he would like a red dog robot.
Little Boy Blue: Yes!!
Wendy and I know Little Boy Blue’s parents, and they enjoyed watching him negotiate with us on the limits of our
lack of talent. It was all sporting. Little Boy Blue was thrilled with whatever we made him (he was a repeat customer), as were the vast majority of the other kids. This is what makes ballooning rewarding. Mild snark is what makes it fun. Later Wendy had a request for a penguin. We had the huge value pack of balloons from the party store. It did not include black or white balloons. I guess you have to special order those, clearly we should’ve stocked up back at at Clown College.
Henry: I want a penguin.
Wendy: Ok. (twisty, twisty, twisty, squeak) Here ya go!
Henry: It doesn’t look like a penguin.
Wendy: I know, penguins look like dogs now because of global warming. NEXT!
Toward the end of our shift, along came a pink Cutie Pie.
Me: Hi! What color balloon do you like?
Pink Princess: I want a pink monkey hanging from a palm tree.
Me: Really? How about a dog.
Pink Princess: No! I WANT A PINK MONKEY HANGING FROM A PALM TREE!
Me: (twisty, twisty, twisty squeak) Dog it is. WHO’S NEXT?
Her kind and wise mother ushered her away before she could complain about the pink dog. I was grateful because by then my fingers were a gnarled mess and I reeked of latex. That said, I can’t wait for our next gig! Stay in school kids.